A heart rate monitor has become a consistent part of marathon training in recent years. Many marathon runners own such a device and perhaps you are one of them.
But are you using it correctly? Have you been utilizing it to realize your full potential? In my case I use it often during marathon preparation, but not in the race itself. The usage varies from runner to runner.
Many runners are unaware of the benefits it can bring to their training, or haven’t learned enough about them to purchase one.
It is important to train enough, but not too much in the different heart rate zones.
What Is It?
An athletic heart monitor is a device you wear during strenuous exercise with the purpose of measuring and recording your heart rate.
It gives you instant feedback about the work level of your heart, taking the guesswork out of your cardiovascular fitness.
The fitness of your heart is one of the essential keys to understanding and improving your aerobic endurance.
A heart rate device can help you track and develop your progress as you aim for increased aerobic endurance – whether you run for pleasure, to lose weight, or to train for a marathon.
Heart rate monitors track and record your heart rate throughout the course of your run more accurately than manual methods. When you stop to count your pulse, you disrupt your workout and your heart rate. A monitor allows you to run without interruption and gives you an exact record of your heart’s activity. Make sure you know your maximum heart rate and resting heart rate.
The best heart monitor for you depends on your budget and running goals.
Why Use It?
The ultimate goal of training with a heart monitor is to be able to run faster and longer with a lower heart rate. Using your heart monitor to track your cardiovascular fitness gives you a competitive edge because it prevents over-training and under-training.
A heart monitor will keep you from stressing your body too much, minimizing your risk of injury. Think of your monitor as your coach – it tells you when your body can handle more and when it’s had enough. Using your monitor as a gauge, you can determine if you are getting enough rest on your recovery days and also if you are reaching your heart-rate goals during your run.
You can’t always rely on timing or distance to measure how hard your body is working. Different factors can mislead you into thinking you have performed well or poorly when really the opposite is true. A monitor will give you an accurate reading of your cardiovascular performance. This can aid you with pacing during training and with the marathon itself.
Listen to Your Body
Don’t become a slave to your heart device. Use a combination of perceived effort during your training runs along with what your monitor is telling you. And don’t forget to run without it sometimes.
Heart Rate Monitor Books
Are you really into heart rate monitor training and want to get in-depth advice on training with such a device? I would suggest to read Heart Rate Training written by Roy Benson and Heart Monitor Training for the Compleat Idiot written by John Parker. The last book is oriented at runners and the first one is useful for anyone serious about sports.
Read more about this topic on the following pages:
Effective Heart Monitor Training
Heart rate monitor training helps you to control the exercise intensity by heart rate. Become a better runner by using this device!
Find Your Maximum Heart Rate Today
Find out how to do a maximum heart rate test and train more effectively with your heart rate device.
Monitor Your Resting Heart Rate
Your resting heart rate provides an indication of your recovery. Monitor it over time and adapt your training if needed.
Heart Rate Zones – Train More Effectively
Calculate your heart rate zones to get the most out of your heart rate monitor training.
What Is The Best Heart Rate Monitor For Runners?
What is the best heart rate monitor for you? Read my advice and select a heart monitor that fits your goals and budget the best.
Anaerobic Heart Rate Training To Improve Your Performance
Find out how and why to combine aerobic exercise with anaerobic heart rate training. Apply these methods and improve your performance.
Why To Train At The Heart Rate For Fat Burning
Discover everything you need to know about the heart rate for fat burning and get your condition to a higher level.